Amazon hit with more warehouse probes from OSHA over alleged workplace hazards

A federal investigation into Amazon is ramping up

A federal investigation into workplace conditions at Amazon warehouses expanded this week, with Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials visiting facilities in multiple states as part of a growing nationwide probe.

OSHA inspected Amazon warehouses in Albany, New York;, Denver, Colorado; and Boise, Idaho, Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Amazon warehouse California

A worker sorts parcels in the outbound dock at an Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif., Aug. 31, 2021. (Watchara Phomicinda/MediaNews Group/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images / Getty Images)

SDNY public affairs chief Nicholas Biase told FOX Business the workplace safety inspections were in response to referrals the office received "concerning potential workplace hazards related, among other things, to Amazon's required pace of work for its warehouse employees."

Biase said the SDNY's civil division "is investigating potential worker safety hazards at Amazon warehouses across the country, as well as possible fraudulent conduct designed to hide injuries from OSHA and others."

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Two weeks ago, OSHA conducted similar investigations of Amazon warehouses outside New York City, Chicago and Orlando, Florida.

Amazon

Amazon warehouse (Getty Images / Getty Images)

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"We’ll, of course, cooperate with OSHA in their investigation, and we believe it will ultimately show that these concerns are unfounded," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement.

A coalition of labor unions called the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) accused Amazon earlier this year of carrying a serious injury rate at its warehouses in 2021 that was "more than twice as high as the rate of non-Amazon warehouses." 

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But Nantel denied the claim at the time, calling the group's analysis inaccurate and saying that if SOC did "even a cursory review of all the OSHA data" it would have noticed Amazon's recordable injury rate declined by more than 13% from 2019 to 2021 while "three other large retailers saw their rates increase by an average of more than 50%."

Amazon warehouse

A truck arrives at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island in New York April 1, 2022.  (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File / Associated Press)

The retail giant is a frequent target of the feds.

OSHA told Amazon in April to improve weather emergency protocols at its facilities after six employees were killed and another was injured when a tornado caused the collapse of the company's distribution center in Edwardsville, Illinois, in December 2021.

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The company also faced complaints this year by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over labor disputes and threats of antitrust legislation from Congress.

FOX Business' Daniella Genovese and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.